It's disheartening to learn your property has the emerald ash borer infecting your trees. Once the tree is affected bad enough to notice signs of damage in the bark and canopy, it could be too late to save the tree. Early treatment is essential for protecting your mature and beautiful ash trees. Even if your trees don't show signs of damage, if the emerald ash borer has been found on properties near yours, it's a good idea to have your trees inspected so treatments can start early if they're needed. Here's a look at how this pest damages your trees and the treatments that can help.

Why The Emerald Ash Borer Is So Dangerous

This pest kills trees because of its destructive nature. Adults damage the leaves and affect the appearance of the canopy, but it's the larvae that do the most damage. The larvae burrow under the bark of the tree and disrupt the tree's ability to spread nutrients throughout the trunk and canopy. This causes parts of the tree to slowly die off until the entire tree is dead. This is why treating the tree with insecticide is not helpful once the tree is too sick. The tree can't circulate the insecticide throughout the branches and leaves to kill the bugs.

How Your Ash Trees Can Be Saved

An early inspection by a tree or pest professional is important. This lets you know if any adults or larvae are present and the amount of damage they've done. Then, a plan is put in place to protect or treat your trees. Insecticides are effective at killing the emerald ash borer when they are applied the right way and at the right time in the pest's life cycle. Insecticides can be sprayed on the tree, injected into the ground to be absorbed by the roots, or injected directly into the bark. Injecting into the bark or ground is a common emerald ash borer treatment because then the tree can circulate the insecticide throughout its entire system to kill the pests and larvae.

It's good to work with a professional when treating your mature ash trees so they have a better chance of survival. Deciding when to treat the tree is a critical part of the process. You don't necessarily want to have insecticides applied as a preventative measure unless a professional assessment of the threat deems it necessary. Also, the overall health and expected lifespan of the tree is taken into account to determine if treatment is a good option or if it's best to remove the tree.

While the emerald ash borer is a very destructive pest and it has the potential to wipe out your ash trees, it's possible to defeat the pest by staying informed about where they are in your state, county, and city and getting advice from an expert in tree care when the insects threaten your property. Once you begin emerald ash borer treatment for your trees, you may need to have the treatments applied every year or two until the threat of infestation is eliminated in your local area.